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COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Nightwing: Death Of The Family

Wow. 250 reviews on this website. How the hell have I managed that! Given that this website is almost a year old, that’s a decent number of reviews to have achieved. Anyways, enough self fanfare. I thought as it is a momentous number, it was time to return to my favourite comic book hero; Nightwing. The first two novels saw our titular hero return to Gotham and take on the Court of Owls whilst trying to reinvigorate Haly’s Circus back into business.

‘Death of the Family’ is another tie-in novel, and you’ll probably see me reviewing quite of few of these in the coming weeks! That being said, it wasn’t all about the crossover event. The novel starts with Nightwing tracking down Lady Shiva who is in Gotham again. Nightwing who faced her once before as Robin is keen to stop her before she assassinates her target. Although he succeeds on that front, his efforts to breathe life back into Haly’s Circus are thwarted on a major level when the Joker comes back to Gotham. Initially, Joker goes after Jimmy, Dick’s only friend from the original Haly’s Circus gang. When Joker kills Jimmy, and then breaks out Raya from prison, only to “Jokerize” her, Nightwing is left to fight his oldest friend to her death. Believing that this was the Joker’s plan for him, he realizes that he’s left the circus unprotected and rushes back only to see it be blown up and all of his employees be “Jokerized”. He tries to put up a fight but is knocked out by one of them and then wakes up at the dinner party from hell. The whole bat-family are there and they’ve been tied up and their faces have been bandaged. The Joker taunts Batman into believing that he’s cut off all their faces, stating that this was all due to him knowing who each member really is. Batman escapes and goes after the Joker, whilst the rest of the family fight off the effects of the Joker toxin. The remainder of the novel sees Dick deal with the repercussions of the circus being destroyed. Can he bring back his dream of seeing Haly’s Circus successful again? And just what massive secret is Grayson’s latest romantic interest harbouring?

You know I love Nightwing. The guy is my favourite hero for a reason. He’s Batman but happy. And sometimes I feel like that’s me you know like I’m good at what I do, but I always have a quip up my sleeve just in case. This novel had parts where I thought the story was good, like the first two issues, but then it started to lag a little. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for the integration of Joker in the Bat-Family novels, but his part in this novel almost felt really out of left field. The last few issues were pretty boring. That did disappoint me a lot, because I was excepting something good, especially given the fact that I had enjoyed the first two novels in this series, but there you go. Can’t win them all.

The artwork was unfortunately the subpar icing on this cake that I don’t want at all. It went from okay, to just downright bad by the end. Some of those panels have traumatised me. The covers were also just average. Overall, not a great novel and it makes me sad. I really hope the series improves from here because it was going so well!

Favourite Panel:

This is why he’s my favourite. I’m just like that.

Favourite Character:

Nightwing. Duh. He doesn’t even have to be my favourite for me to love him.


  • Story Arc: 13/20

  • Character Development: 14/20

  • Artwork: 8.5/20

  • Enjoyability: 11.5/20

  • Re-readability: 8/20

  • Overall: 55/100

Level: Intermediate

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